Barcamp Charlotte 2: the unconference strikes back

Another great Barcamp was held in Charlotte this weekend, and like the first, it was a fun, creative, and inspiring day full of user-generated sessions on a variety of topics, from balloon twisting to iPhone app development. Area 15 hosted the event again, and the diverse space was great for hosting the variety of topics and conversations that took place.

My day consisted of How to Ruin Your Small Business on Twitter with Lyell Peterson (@93octane), Twittercasting with Nathan Richie (@NathanRichie), going down the creativity rabbithole with Jared Nicolson, HTML5 Preview with Adam Hunter, and The Future of Journalism with Andria Krewson, Desiree Kane, and Austin Light.

I hope to write some followups, as I continue to process all the great info that was shared, but in the mean time, here is a roundup of BarcampCLT-related media I’ve seen so far:

Search “BarcampCLT” on Twitter

Pre-event

BarCamp Charlotte 2 Pre-party by James Willamor/CLT Blog
A Moment by Summer Plum

Session materials

Manage Your Social Networks – session slides (plus links) by dizzySEO
HTML 5 Examples by Adam Hunter
How To Get The Other 9 Listings on Google video of Robert Enriquez by David Wells

Post-event

Barcamp 2 is in the bag and you made it great! by Barcamp Charlotte
First photos of BarCamp Charlotte 2 by James Willamor/CLT Blog
BarCampCLT 2 photos by Cara Couture
Alphatracks Visits Bar Camp Charlotte 2 photos by Tom Bonner
BarCampCLT2 photos by Tom Bonner
Lyell Talks Serious Twitter Business photo by Summer Plum
Get a little weirder, Charlotte by Jeff Elder
A Smarter Charlotte by Eric Orozco
Charlotte BarCamp – What did you think? by Corey Creed
Barcamp Charlotte SEO Session with NC_SEO by David Wells
barcampCLT 2 by Mr. R
Overheard in Charlotte: BarCamp Edition by Meck
Technology, Media “Unconference” Draws More Than 100 To Area 15 by Andria Krewson

If you know of anything I’m missing, please let us know in the comments!

Happy trails to you

Tega Cay Parks & Recreation sent an email Tuesday announcing a new committee to design and build trails in Tega Cay. (Yay!)

I will be taking an active part in getting this group up & running, and have developed this slideshow to help sell the idea of Tega Cay Trails. (In typical fashion, I’ve also gone overboard and set up a Twitter account and a Flickr account to spread the love further still.

Please follow, link, promote, and/or join, as appropriate. ;)

BotcampCLT

For a second there, I thought I saw a bunch of bots at Barcamp, but then I realized I was mistaken. But, I must say there were some people that looked really similar to:

@39octane, @annoyabrah, @bemnarvin, @brahdesigns, @cristaldempsey, @Itsnotem, @JaredWwwOs, @JedFelder, @onanything, @s1paulds, @smallfleet, and @twinkhanson.

Torgny claims to have spotted the only real bot to show up at Barcamp: http://twitpic.com/lxo6i #NSFW #SHD

Manage your Brand in Public (for a fee)

brandsinpublic

Have you seen this new site Brands in Public? They are aggregating comments from around the web and intend to create thousands of web pages, each one highlighting the online buzz focused on a corporate brand (example: Starbucks), in hopes that those companies will pay for the opportunity to manage/influence the conversation publicly.

Some have expressed concern about the fact that the Brands in Public team has assembled these pages before actually signing anyone up to
manage them… companies feel that they’ve been “brandjacked” (though the pages do seem to communicate clearly that they are unofficial sites). Today, they’ve announced that they will be removing the “sample pages”, so presumably will display only pages of companies who have signed on.

It doesn’t seem all that different from what Get Satisfaction does already (example: Starbucks), except that Get Satisfaction doesn’t charge company representatives for the opportunity to get involved and present an “official” company voice. However, Brands in Public says that the paid participation gives brands the ability to “edit the introductory text, highlight the tweets and posts you like, point to your blog, your videos, your twitter feed, your corporate website and even (if you like) highlight ways to contact you.” It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and if these sites retain a perception of credibility, even with companies manipulating the conversations.

It sounds a lot like extortion to me, but it’s certainly a clever idea. As pointed out in this article on adage.com, how well these pages rank in search results will likely have a large role in whether many companies come on board to participate.

In support of more bike & hike trails in Tega Cay

[Also submitted for consideration on tegacayunderground.com]
**Update: Tega Cay Underground seems to have gone offline… rut-roh.**

One of the things I like the most about living in Tega Cay is the network of paths and trails that wind through our beautiful landscape here. Many of them provide convenient and safe routes to and from our neighborhoods, parks and playing fields, and give us the opportunity to walk or bike to places that we might otherwise drive to. Even those that don’t enhance connectivity still offer a scenic environment for getting some fresh air and exercise. This is why I plan to volunteer my time to help build more trails in our community.
Continue reading In support of more bike & hike trails in Tega Cay

Charlotte UX August meeting recap

After a summer hiatus for the month of July, the Charlotte UX group convened for lunch this past Wednesday at Principle Solutions on Tryon St. They provided lunch from Jason’s Deli, and a posh conference room. We went around the table and did introductions consisting of our titles and roles, for the benefit of the staffing folks, and got down to business. The topic for the month was start pages, and we took a look at Yahoo (which recently redesigned), iGoogle, Netvibes, Pageflakes, and Popurls. We examined interaction patterns and compared interfaces, explored the way different sites allow you to customize your content, and weighed in on what we liked to have on our personal start pages.

As far as group news and general info, it sounds like the Charlotte UX community on Ning may become our central spot on the web for discussion and event info. The Facebook group will remain, as an additional place to interact, and the current Charlotte-UX.org might be redirected to the Ning site.

For those who have recently inquired:

The Charlotte UX group (formerly IA Cocktail) is a group of professionals (students and other interested parties are welcome as well) in the Charlotte, NC area specializing in User Experience. The group holds regular meetings and events to share information of mutual interest and provide networking opportunities. Members have expertise in Interaction Design, Usability Engineering, Graphic Design, and Information Architecture.

We hope you’ll join us at our next event.